LOUISVILLE, KY - Last week, the T-H Marine team attended the 22nd annual International BoatBuilders' Exhibition and Conference held in Louisville, Ky. IBEX, as it is better known, is widely touted as the premier marine technology and networking event in North America. At the October 2nd kick-off breakfast, National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich confirmed the good news that new boat and outboard motor sales are expected to be up by ten percent this year. He continued the good news by saying that the NMMA projects a similar increase in the year 2013. This is great news for an industry that suffered greatly from the economic downfall during the past several years.
"There's a new spirit in the marketplace,” said Dammrich. “If you look at the data, there is a reason there's a new spirit — because things are turning up, slowly turning up, slowing improving and that creates a more positive spirit."
The new spirit that Dammrich spoke of was evident by walking through the maze of exhibits in the Kentucky Expo Center, with many booths displaying a new product line or new innovation. The T-H Marine booth was no exception as we showed off our new line of LED lights as well as popular new products like the G-Force Handle and RoboCup. IBEX not only gives professionals in the boating industry a chance to see what’s new on the market, it gives these people ample opportunity to network and meet other industry leaders.
As Thursday afternoon rolled around and another IBEX came to a close, the T-H Marine booth was still buzzing with activity. “We had a good turnout this year, I think a lot of people wanted to see our new products and how they differed from similar products on the market,” said sales rep Luke Dunkin. “Plus we have a lot of products that nobody else offers.”
So what did we learn from IBEX this year? We learned that the boating industry is on the rise yet again thanks to a renewed interest in boating and spending time on the water. We also saw first-hand that the industry never stands still, that there are constant innovations and improvements to be made in order to stay on top. That may seem like a tall order to some, but at T-H we’ve been doing it since 1975.